Return to Stoneman Douglas: The first day of school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland was bittersweet for students who lived through the massacre Feb. 14, with student emotions mixed with hope for the future but weighted by the grief of the past. “That’s something I’ve been wrestling with,” said 14-year-old sophomore Alexa Goel, who saw her first body on that dark day and had to run for her life. “Not wanting to let it go, but also moving forward with my life.” Security was tight, but even that wasn’t reassuring for some students. “There’s literally no place that I am every day that I feel 100 percent safe and the thought doesn’t go through my head that someone could come in with a gun,” said 15-year-old Samantha Deitsch. Sun-Sentinel. Miami Herald. WLRN. Palm Beach Post. Associated Press.
School security problems: The Florida Legislature shortchanged the state’s school districts by not providing enough money to pay for the security measures it mandated, says Damien Kelly, executive director of the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Safe Schools. “All 67 sheriffs are on the same page. They don’t think the funding is where it needs to be,” says Kelly. Orlando Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale police officers filled in to guard schools in the city on opening day Wednesday, just a day after the Broward County School District informed the city it was short of armed guards for 13 schools. Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis calls the district’s last-minute plea for help “disappointing.” Sun-Sentinel. Despite the focus on school security, Broward County summer schools had no security presence. Miami Herald. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Sheriff Jerry Demings trade accusations about who’s at fault for a shortage of deputies to cover county schools on opening day. Orlando Sentinel. Safe Schools director Damien Kelly says the new app FortifyFL will be available in two weeks. It will allow people to anonymously report suspicious activities in schools. Associated Press. News Service of Florida.